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Uber secretly identified and tagged iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 22:26 (ссылка)

The more we learn about Uber and its founder, Travis Kalanick, the less we like them. The NY Times reports on the ride company's sleazy tactics.

For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

But Apple was on to the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers — essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded.


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Macron and Le Pen to face off in French presidential runoff vote, May 7

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 21:50 (ссылка)

Early projections in France's presidential elections today show that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron will now face off in a runoff election. Macron came in first, and Le Pen second, in Sunday's first round of voting. Moscow won't be happy if Le Pen loses the next round of voting for the French presidency, now slated to take place on May 7.



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World's best jar lid opener

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 18:42 (ссылка)

The reason it's hard to open jar lids is because the vacuum seal is pulling the lid tightly against the jar. Once in a while, the vacuum seal is so strong that I can't open it. That's when I grab my Jarkey, a $6 plastic lever that effortlessly breaks the seal, making it easy to open. I always try to open jars with my bare hands, then use the Jarkey after I strain my wrist. My wife goes straight for the Jarkey, because she's smarter than I am.


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A subwoofer belt would make more sense, but try this bracelet

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 16:08 (ссылка)

Even the most expensive pair of hi-fi headphones can’t match the feeling of bass rumbling through your body at a live show. That's why music aficionados designed The Basslet, an accessory that reproduces that sensation from your wrist. Does it make your whole body shake with deep subs? Not really, because that would be terrifying, but its effect is definitely intoxicating.

The Basslet augments your current headphones with a wrist-mounted subwoofer. But instead of blasting low frequencies at you and everyone else on the bus, it thumps silently on your wrist to give you an immersive experience that goes beyond stereo. It’s totally wireless, and makes for an interesting aesthetic alternative to a typical wristwatch.

It lasts for up to six hours on a single charge, so you can indulge your bass-addiction all day long. The Basslet Wearable Subwoofer is available in the Boing Boing Store for $179.

Explore more best-sellers in the Boing Boing Store:


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The Haunted Mansion Ghost Post wins a Themed Entertainment Award!

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 15:18 (ссылка)

When I wrote about the Haunted Mansion loot crates ("Ghost Post") last March, what I couldn't say was that I was the writer on the project, penning the radio scripts, newspapers, letters, and associated gubbins and scraps that went along with the three boxes of custom-made props and merch, tying them together into a series of puzzles that the boxes' 999 owners solved together over the internet.


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John Scalzi on the ups and downs of book tours

Воскресенье, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 04:08 (ссылка)

John Scalzi's on tour with his new novel, The Collapsing Empire: he's posted a list of ten things every touring author knows, and very few other people ever get to see.


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The Humble Unicorn Bundle, get great, DRM-free fantasy novels, support environmental causes

Суббота, 23 Апреля 2017 г. 01:57 (ссылка)

Steven Boyett writes, "Humble Bundle has released a unicorn-themed Bundle, with proceeds to benefit the World Wide Fund for Nature and Fauna & Flora International. For as little as $1.00, you can get Ariel, by Steven R. Boyett (full disclosure: that's me); Unicorn Mountain, by Michael Bishop; Homeward Bound, by Bruce Coville; and Unicorn Triangle, by Patricia McKillip."



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A snuggle with Tribbles

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 20:39 (ссылка)

I've always wanted a few tribbles around the house.

First introduced in David Gerrold's episode The Trouble with Tribbles, the Tribble a super cuddly invasive species! Spock said they have no purpose but to eat and to reproduce, but that's because a Vulcan doesn't love snuggles!

I have one of my own, so this guy'll go on the shelf next to my phaser.

Quantum Mechanix Star Trek Tribble Platinum Plush via Amazon


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7-pack of disposable fountain pens in assorted colors for $12

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 18:30 (ссылка)

I got this set of 7 fountain pens last year for my daughter, who is studying art in college. She's been incorporating them into her work. The pens have a stainless steel nib and come in seven different ink colors. I just ordered set for myself.


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Britain has first day without coal power generation since industrial revolution

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 17:49 (ссылка)

Britain went a full day without using coal to generate power, reports the BBC. It's the first 24-hour period of inactivity there since 1882, when the world's first public coal-fired power plant was stoked at Holborn Viaduct in London.

But Ms O'Hara says that while the country makes the transition to a low carbon system, coal remains an important source of energy.
According to Gridwatch.co.uk, around half of British energy on Friday came from natural gas, with about a quarter coming from nuclear plants.
Wind, biomass, and imported energy were also used.

As in the U.S., coal power's been squeezed out by natural gas, a cleaner fossil fuel, though the trend is now toward renewable sources. Britain will close its coal-fired power plants down for good in 2025, supposedly.


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Donald Trump says his own 100-day plans are "ridiculous standards" to be held to

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 17:22 (ссылка)

Donald Trump, having failed to accomplish much from the 100-day plan laid out in the "contract with the American voter" still live on his website, now says that he is being held to "ridiculous standards".

Analyzing the accomplishments of a United States president after their first 100 days in office is a decades-old tradition and, of course, a relatively arbitrary one established by the news media to assess a leader’s direction and influence. However, to dismiss its importance after using it as a marketing tool for his policy agenda will surely only serve to shirk those who bought into it.

Aside from providing clear evidence of Trump’s flip-flop on the 100-day benchmark, the contract also provides a clear way to compare Trump as president-elect and president of the United States.

Trump has been unable to hold to many of the promises presented in the two-page document, achieving only 10 of the 28 action pledges.

No-one expected him to get anywhere near them, obviously, but "simulation collapse" is the dish of the day.



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Some idiot left a coastal wall right in front of a ferry

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 17:01 (ссылка)

In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, some total moron designed, financed and constructed a large coastal wall right where a ferry was headed.

Videos and photos of the accident appeared quite serious, although no injuries have been reported.

The ship involved was the Volcan de Tamasite and, according to information received by The Canary, 140 passengers were on board at the time, though nobody seems to have been seriously hurt, some reports have mentioned up to four people with minor injuries.


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Internet Archive to ignore robots.txt directives

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 16:35 (ссылка)

Robots (or spiders, or crawlers) are little computer programs that search engines use to scan and index websites. Robots.txt is a little file placed on webservers to tell search engines what they should and shouldn't index. The Internet Archive isn't a search engine, but has historically obeyed exclusion requests from robots.txt files. But it's changing its mind, because robots.txt is almost always crafted with search engines in mind and rarely reflects the intentions of domain owners when it comes to archiving.

Over time we have observed that the robots.txt files that are geared toward search engine crawlers do not necessarily serve our archival purposes. Internet Archive’s goal is to create complete “snapshots” of web pages, including the duplicate content and the large versions of files. We have also seen an upsurge of the use of robots.txt files to remove entire domains from search engines when they transition from a live web site into a parked domain, which has historically also removed the entire domain from view in the Wayback Machine. In other words, a site goes out of business and then the parked domain is “blocked” from search engines and no one can look at the history of that site in the Wayback Machine anymore. We receive inquiries and complaints on these “disappeared” sites almost daily.

A few months ago we stopped referring to robots.txt files on U.S. government and military web sites for both crawling and displaying web pages (though we respond to removal requests sent to info@archive.org). As we have moved towards broader access it has not caused problems, which we take as a good sign. We are now looking to do this more broadly.

An excellent decision. To be clear, they're ignoring robots.txt even if you explicitly identify and disallow the Internet Archive. It's a splendid remember that nothing published on the web is ever meaningfully private, and will always go on your permanent record.


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John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 16:22 (ссылка)

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law's prohibition on bypassing copyright locks.


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Watch the Florida Gators mascot save a kid from a foul ball

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 16:16 (ссылка)

First Albert Gator saves the kid, then the kid “saves” Albert with CPR.


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This Earth Day, join the Global March for Science

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 16:11 (ссылка)

All over the world, people who believe in science, facts, and reality are marching for action on climate change, against a backdrop of overt (Trump) and insidious (Trudeau) climate-change denial, which puts the future of our species and its habitat in grave peril.


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Spy on your pets so hackers can spy on you!

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 16:07 (ссылка)

They probably just sleep a lot. But still, you can remotely keep an eye on them when you're at work and missing them deeply with this HD monitor from Kodak.

If you have a new puppy that destroys everything in sight, or you just want to be a little more security-conscious, this WiFi camera is a great way to stay connected. It streams live HD video to your smartphone, and stores up to a day of footage in the cloud for free.

The camera’s smart software learns from false alarms, and it even compiles a pet highlight reel from the daily footage so you can gush over how much cuter your pets are than everyone else's pets. And in the case of emergencies (or bad pup behavior), the monitor provides two-way audio communication so you can get everything sorted out from wherever you are.

Additionally, this security camera extends the range of your home wireless network with a built-in WiFi repeater. You can grab this Kodak HD WiFi Pet Monitor in the Boing Boing Store for $72.99.

Explore more best-sellers in the Boing Boing Store:


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Obama to end silence with first post-presidency speaking appearance in Chicago

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 08:37 (ссылка)

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been enjoying an extended post-presidency vacation around the world, but that's about to end. Barack Obama is slated to break his silence in Chicago on Monday, April 24. If you're hoping he will rip into Donald Trump, we've got sad news for you.



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American Airlines employee appears to hit woman with baby stroller, challenges passenger to 'hit me'

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 07:49 (ссылка)

Et tu, American Airlines?

Just weeks after a shocking video surfaced of a United Airlines passenger being violently dragged off a flight for refusing to give up his seat, a new video shows an intense confrontation between American Airlines employees and passengers, including a woman holding a baby stroller.

Surain Adyanthaya is credited with capturing the video, and says it happened on American Airlines flight 591 from San Francisco to Dallas.

The video was posted to r/dallas, and started to go viral even before the flight landed at DFW.

The original Reddit poster says he was told it started over how a flight attendant dealt with a young mother who was trying to store a stroller in an overhead bin.


Jalopnik watched it, so you don't have to:

The video starts with the woman already crying at the front of the airplane, holding a child in her arms and asking for her stroller back. You can hear another upset passenger say he’s “not going to sit here and watch this...” before making his way to the front of the plane to confront the flight attendants and ask for the name of the employee that allegedly hit the crying woman. Another woman, seemingly a passenger, also confronts the airline staff about the situation.

Then a man wearing an American Airlines uniform boards the plane and begins talking to the attendants out of earshot of the camera when he’s confronted by the previous male passenger, who tells the employee, “you do that to me and I’ll knock you flat,” before the employee comes across with his finger pointing, warning the passenger to “stay out of it.”

The male passenger gets out of his seat and approaches the employee, and the employee then challenges the passenger to “Try it. Hit me. You don’t know what the story is.” The passenger replies, “you almost hurt a baby!”

American released a statement 20 minutes after the flight landed at DFW:

“We have seen the video and have already started an investigation to obtain the facts. What we see on this video does not reflect our values or how we care for our customers. We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused this passenger and her family and to any other customers affected by the incident. We are making sure all of her family's needs are being met while she is in our care. After electing to take another flight, we are taking special care of her and her family and upgrading them to first class for the remainder of their international trip.

The actions of our team member captured here do not appear to reflect patience or empathy, two values necessary for customer care. In short, we are disappointed by these actions. The American team member has been removed from duty while we immediately investigate this incident.”


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Trump teases “massive” tax cut, “big announcement,” bigger than “any tax cut ever“

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 07:20 (ссылка)

Former reality television star Donald J. Trump promised late on Friday to reveal plans for a “massive” tax cut for Americans next week. “Tax reform is way too complicated,” he added. Seriously.



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United's CEO just lost out on the Chairmanship of United's board

Суббота, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 06:02 (ссылка)

When United CEO Oscar Munoz lied about Dr David Dao, slandering the passenger that was beaten unconscious as a direct result of his employees enacting the policies he put in place, he was acting in the knowledge that he would shortly be elevated to the Chairmanship of United's board of directors.


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Liartown: forthcoming book from master image manipulator Sean Tejaratchi

Пятница, 22 Апреля 2017 г. 02:57 (ссылка)

Sean Tejaratchi is the absolute master of photoshopped cultural effluvia, God of an alternative world where the classic trash you remember warps into a mythopoeia of weird, hilarious insanity. And now much of it is to be collected in an 8.5'' x 11'' 248-page color book, Liartown, the first four years.

The book contains almost all LiarTown material from early 2013 to January 2017. It includes an introduction by me, Sean Tejaratchi, a foreword by former Onion editor Scott Dikkers, a section with notes on selected pieces, and an exhaustive index. The back cover will feature brief explanatory text (written especially for the back cover and not previously read by the public), as well as a laudatory comments from cultural notables, a barcode, and cover price. Every inch of this lavishly designed book has been designed to perfection. Even the spine, normally known only as the narrow, bound left edge of a volume, will be emblazoned with the title, subtitle, author, and publisher logo.

Speaking of the publisher, beloved Feral House Books has honored my desire to keep all the bad words and bird dicks and lunchbox tits and other improprieties. I was not asked to change a single thing.

It'll ship in late fall; preorder it now. [Amazon link]


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Portland hotel magnate withdraws overt Trump donation, funnels $1M through front companies instead

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 23:41 (ссылка)

Gordon Sondland owns Provenance Hotels, with four PDX properties -- the Lucia, deLuxe, Sentinel and Westin. After he was outed as being the host for a Trump event last summer, he pulled out, saying that he'd broken with Trump over his racist anti-Muslim rhetoric.


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The Journey/Wilson Phillips mashup you've been waiting for

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 23:35 (ссылка)

A friend sent me this gem, as vengence for some other Wilson Phillips related post.


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McDonald's new employee uniforms look like Logan's Run

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 22:08 (ссылка)

Good catch by Gizmodo's Matt Novak.

Matt doesn't care for the new uniforms ("mandatory gray-on-gray with a dash of black is pretty much universally recognized as the standard uniform for bleakest of futures"), but I want to replace my current wardrobe with them.


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Kottke's list of the web’s best hidden gems

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 21:56 (ссылка)

Jason Kottke asked his readers to tell him "what were the best web sites that they knew about that most people have never heard of." I've been going through his curated list of the top 56. My favorite so far is Pink Trombone, a human voice synthesizer. While playing it, I felt my own throat moving to match the cartoon throat. Freaky!


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The Playful Eye is a virtual feast of games and visual tricks gathered from around the world

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 21:43 (ссылка)

These vintage cards and old placards display optical illusions, visual witticisms, hidden images, rebuses, and artistic paradoxes from yesteryear. They were the equivalent of Gifs back then — eye candy worth sharing. Here they are gathered in a oversized paperback for your entertainment and amazement.

The Playful Eye: An Album of Visual Delight

by Julian Rothenstein, Mel Gooding

Chronicle Books

2000, 112 pages, 9.9 x 0.5 x 12.7 inches, Paperback

$9 Buy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.


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The X-Files is coming back

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 21:40 (ссылка)


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The Insect Magnet

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 21:31 (ссылка)

Luckily, I'm not an insect, because the packaging for this poison free bug trap appeals to me. I've been using this product for years and it works as advertised. From my 2010 review: "Even if we didn't have a cricket infestation problem I would have bought this box of insect traps, because the packaging is so terrific. My 7-year-old daughter couldn't take her eyes of it. My wife was repulsed by it and made me remove the box from the kitchen, but admitted that its design was striking."

A 12-pack is just $6 on Amazon.


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New photo of Earth between Saturn's rings can shift your perspective on our reality

Пятница, 21 Апреля 2017 г. 21:06 (ссылка)

That point of light between Saturn's rings is Earth, captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft on April 12. More about the image here at NASA JPL. It reminds me of the last photo taken by the Voyager I spacecraft before engineers shut off its imaging systems. Carl Sagan had persuaded NASA to turn Voyager I’s cameras back toward the sun on Valentine's Day 1990 and take the first ever "portrait of our solar system" from outside of it. Earth is just a speck in that photo too, a "pale blue dot" as Sagan called it. His beautiful words remind me how a single image can alter one's perspective in an instant:

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there...


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